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  1. #21
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    Threads here often ask discusss brotherhood and dedication. I think this story from the LA Times says a great deal about what that means. I'm sure this is happening in many other places.

    Please God, take care of everyone out there.

    ------------------------

    Volunteer Firefighters Focus on Task as Their Own Homes Burn

    While saving neighbors' houses in fierce Cedar fire in San Diego County, about a third of Julian district's crew lose their residences.

    By Stuart Pfeifer and Christine Hanley, Times Staff Writers

    CUYAMACA, Calif. ó The mood inside the small firehouse here bespoke stoicism and a matter-of-fact sense of duty. There was much to do in the aftermath of a one-sided battle.

    The eight volunteer firefighters had already been defeated by the overwhelming force of eastern San Diego County's Cedar fire. Rearing to 300 and 400 feet in the air, its flames had rolled through their position Tuesday like a well-commanded army.

    About 300 homes within a few miles had fallen to the flames. But the men, by dint of frantic last-minute brush clearing and forays into the just-burned landscape to hose standing structures, had managed to save two dozen of their neighbors' houses.

    While they worked, however, all eight of their own homes were burning to the ground.

    At the same time, a few miles northwest, near Julian, at least six other firefighters lost their homes to wildfire while battling flames elsewhere. In all, at least 14 of the 40 volunteers of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District lost their homes.

    "It's hard to define heroism, but that's certainly the case here," said Hugh Marx, supervising ranger for the Lake Cuyamaca Recreation and Park District, who visited the Cuyamaca firehouse Wednesday. "They put their neighbors' good above their own good."

    As the sun rose Tuesday, the volunteers could see smoke and an eerie orange glow advancing from the southeast.

    By midafternoon, the fire was unleashing its full fury on the town. The firemen retreated to the station.

    They burned brush between the building and nearby Cuyamaca Reservoir, hoping the scorched land and the asphalt parking lot would keep the invading wildfire away. The men stood on the ground they had burned and waited.

    "We knew if it got really bad, we could go jump in the lake," said Chris Wilburn, a three-year veteran.

    After the fire passed, the men went into town to douse any signs of fire on or near the relatively few houses that were still standing. A combat mentality prevailed; the men placed loyalty to comrades and dedication to the mission above personal considerations.

    "You can't leave the people you're working with," said Bob Garner, a 24-year veteran of the volunteer group. "You can't let them down. They're thinking the same thing you are."

    It wasn't until Wednesday that the eight took stock of their own losses.

    Garner, a 49-year-old welder, took a fatalistic view of the loss of his small stucco house in nearby Harrison Park, which like most neighborhoods in the Cuyamaca Mountains is thick with tall oak and pine trees.

    "With this rich fuel, there's nothing you can do," he said. "The fire was so intense it would pick up trees and drop them miles away in front of the fire. The only thing that could have saved it is if the wind changed directions."

    George Hatton, a 53-year-old veteran of 12 years in the department, gave "not a thought in the world to my own property" while he battled to save others' homes. "We have a job to do. It's more than that. It's doing the right thing."

    Hatton finally saw his own Harrison Park house Wednesday. "The house and everything is completely leveled," he said. "Zero. It's just ashes."

    By Wednesday night, the firehouse the men had saved was the only place left for them to bed down.

    As darkness fell in nearby Julian, a tense vigil endured in the quaint former mining town locally famous for its bed-and-breakfast inns. Residents having long since been evacuated, Main Street was lined with firetrucks. Firefighters from such places as Montebello, Sacramento and Compton waited for the great fire, which threatened to catch Julian in giant pincers from the southeast and northwest.

    Bill Everett, a volunteer in the department's Julian division, learned that his home in Kentwood in the Pines, to the southeast, was gone. It had been a spacious modern cabin in the highest part of that community. When the weather was clear, it had a view that extended 160 miles.

    Everett, a large, burly man wearing a red bandanna around his head, had been working on the fire since the first alarm at 6 p.m. Sunday. He had logged 60 straight hours ó none in the vicinity of his own house.

    "They intentionally keep firefighters away from our own homes," he said, "because we would freak out."

    Julian firefighter Nick Rogers, 27, lost his home in Kentwood in the Pines while he was fighting flames in Pine Hills to the southwest. What troubles him most is that he might have lost the combat medals his grandfather earned as a British paratrooper during World War II.

    "I'm going to go back and dig for them," he said. "I haven't had a chance yet. I've been too busy. I don't think it's hit me yet. I think it will feel more close to home when I go back and start digging through the rubble."

    Full focus on the task at hand, said Hatton, is part of their ethic.

    "It's in our blood. You either got it or you don't," he said. "I'm a fireman. That's the way it is with volunteer departments all over the world."


  2. #22
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    Default Be Safe

    To all you fireys over there be safe guys. We are watching here in Australia and praying for rain, and the safety of your crews and the communitys of California
    THEY WHO WORKS, HARD PLAYS HARD !!!

  3. #23
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Originally posted by EFD840
    [B]Threads here often ask discusss brotherhood and dedication. I think this story from the LA Times says a great deal about what that means. I'm sure this is happening in many other places.

    Please God, take care of everyone out there.
    ------------------------

    Volunteer Firefighters Focus on Task as Their Own Homes Burn
    We saw the same thing with the BC Fires this summer. It is unbelievable to see these firefighters hardly sparing a thought for their own losses while desperately trying to save everyone else's home.

    I pray for the safety of all the firefighters, any my thoughts are with those communities suffering such horrible losses.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  4. #24
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post Weather gives some relief

    BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (AP) - Fog and drizzle Thursday came to
    the rescue of firefighters laboring to save resort towns in
    Southern California from the raging wildfires that have killed at
    least 20 people.
    "It is helping, but it is a long way from putting any fires
    out," said Ray Snodgrass, chief deputy director of the California
    Forestry Department. "It's the respite we were hoping for."
    The weather helped firefighters make progress on the two fires
    that accounted for about 90 percent of the more than 2,600 homes
    lost, and all but two of the deaths: one in the mountains northeast
    of San Diego, the other in mountain and foothill areas in and near
    San Bernardino.
    The weather change also brought gusting winds, but they were
    pushing the latter fire, covering nearly 50,000 acres, away from
    populated areas, San Bernardino County Fire Marshal Peter Brierty
    said.
    "It's a low fire," Brierty said. "It's kind of skunking
    around. As long as the current wind pattern holds, it will reduce
    the danger."
    In San Diego County, moist air helped firefighters battling the
    largest fire in state history, a 272,000-acre blaze near the
    historic mining town of Julian. Wind gusting to 40 mph remained a
    concern, even as firefighters began shifting their focus to hot
    spots in outlying areas.
    The fire "is finally showing some sign of winding down," San
    Diego County Sheriff Bill Kolender said. Authorities hoped they
    could soon begin allowing more residents to return to check on
    their homes.
    Devastating fires have burned for more than a week throughout
    Southern California, destroying more than 2,600 homes and
    blackening about 730,000 acres. Seven fires were still burning in
    four counties.
    A blaze of more than 100,000 acres on the line between Ventura
    and Los Angeles counties was winding down, with cooler weather and
    high humidity helping firefighters knock down flames that had come
    within a few feet of homes.
    On Wednesday, wind-driven flames burned about 350 homes in Cedar
    Glen in the San Bernardino Mountains. But John Lucas was able to
    save three houses on his property, including one where his wife and
    her brothers were born.
    Lucas, 38, said he built a $60,000 fire system, consisting of
    two 5,500-gallon water tanks and a network of hoses, that kept the
    buildings and the grounds wet.
    "It wasn't luck. My family and I expended a lot of preparation
    just for this scenario," said the former federal Forest Service
    firefighter.
    Others homes left relatively unscathed Thursday were in Sunset
    Pointe and Stevenson Ranch outside Santa Clarita, despite flames
    coming within feet of new $400,000 dwellings.
    "I'm feeling numb. I'm feeling like I dreamed this," said
    Marina Deeb, wearing a face mask as she talked with friends in her
    driveway. "I'm just very thankful to have my home, my husband and
    my children safe."
    Homeowners in Big Bear and other evacuated areas faced another
    concern Thursday - looting. Sheriff's deputies arrested four
    people, two of them in the act, said Sgt. Brooke Wagner of the San
    Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
    Kim Robinson, 46, who lives near San Bernardino, said she saw
    strangers at some of the evacuated homes. "Homeless people came
    and tried to make homes in some of the empty places," she said.
    "I guess they thought they'd stay."
    In San Diego County, where the state's largest fire killed a
    firefighter on Wednesday, many of his comrades wore black bands on
    their badges. Steve Rucker, 38, died while battling a blaze that
    has burned more than 270,000 acres and some 1,500 homes. He was the
    first firefighter to die in this outbreak of fires.
    "We have a somber mood and we need to be somber, but it's time
    to move ahead," incident commander John Hawkins told the
    firefighters. "Get your chin up and move out."
    In Escondido, hundreds of mourners gathered for a memorial
    service for Ashleigh Roach, a 16-year-old who died Sunday while
    trying to escape from flames that destroyed her family's home. Her
    20-year-old sister, Allyson, was severely burned and remained
    hospitalized in critical condition.
    Nearly 13,000 firefighters and support personnel were fighting
    what Gov. Gray Davis said may be the worst and costliest disaster
    California has ever faced.
    The state was getting firefighting help from British Columbia.
    The western Canadian province's Forests Ministry said it could have
    two air tankers in the state within 24 hours, with eight more
    tankers, 65 fire pumps and nearly 200 firefighters and specialists
    to follow.
    The state is spending an estimated $9 million a day fighting the
    wildfires. The total cost of fighting the blazes could reach $200
    million, and the toll on the California economy has been put at $2
    billion.
    ---
    Associated Press Writers Pauline Arrillaga, Martha Mendoza, Ken
    Ritter and Andrew Bridges contributed to this story.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  5. #25
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Unhappy Upadte-10/30/03

    On Thursday, 20 confirmed deaths had been blamed on Southern
    California's wildfires.
    ---
    CEDAR FIRE (San Diego County):
    -Galen Blacklidge, 50, Lakeside. Died Sunday while trying to
    escape in her vehicle.
    -Mary Peace, 54, died Sunday in the area of the Barona Indian
    Reservation.
    -Two people died Sunday in the area of the Barona Indian
    Reservation; identified in published reports as Robin Sloan and her
    daughter, Jennifer Sloan, 17.
    -One man found dead Sunday in a motorhome on Muth Valley Road
    near Moreno; identified by family members as Stephen Shacklett, 55.
    -Larry Edward Downs, 50, died Sunday while trying to escape
    flames on Wildcat Canyon Road.
    -Solange Shohara, 58, died Sunday while trying to escape on Lake
    Vicente Drive near Moreno.
    -Two other people found dead on Lake Vicente Drive near Moreno;
    identified by neighbors and in published reports as Solange
    Shohara's husband, James Shohara, 63, and son Randy Shohara, 22.
    -One woman found dead Sunday on Wildcat Canyon Road near Moreno.
    -One man found dead Monday on Wildcat Canyon Road near Moreno.
    -One woman found dead Monday on Wildcat Canyon Road near Moreno.
    -One person found dead Wednesday in a home on Vista Viejas Road
    in Alpine.
    -Steven Rucker, 38, a Novato firefighter who was killed
    Wednesday while trying to save a home near Wynola.
    ---
    PARADISE FIRE (San Diego County):
    -Nancy Morphew, 51, Valley Center, horse rancher. Killed Sunday
    as she attempted to drive away from her home on Yellow Brick Road.
    -Ashleigh Roach, 16, Valley Center, student. Killed Sunday when
    her car was trapped in flames near Hell Hole Canyon.
    ---
    OLD FIRE (San Bernardino County):
    James W. McDermith, 70, San Bernardino. Died Saturday when he
    collapsed as he was evacuating his home.
    Charles Cunningham, 93, San Bernardino. Died Saturday when he
    collapsed as he stood in the street watching his home burn.
    Chad Williams, 70, of Crestline. Died Saturday of a heart attack
    while evacuating.
    Gene Knowles, 75, of Big Bear. Died Sunday of a heart attack
    while evacuating.
    ---
    Source: San Diego County Sheriff's Department; San Diego County
    Medical Examiner's Office: San Bernardino County Coroner.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  6. #26
    Forum Member PFire23's Avatar
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    Default

    My heart just goes out to the families of all those lost. How awful, ......... I'm totally at a loss for words. May they ALL rest in peace.
    To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

    IACOJ-WOT proud

    GO WHITE SOX!!!!!

  7. #27
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Unhappy Novato crews go home

    Novato welcomes home firefighter crews

    (Novato-AP) -- Two firefighting crews have returned to Novato
    after losing one of their colleagues in the Southern California
    wildfires.
    Eleven-year veteran Steven Rucker died yesterday when he and
    three members of his crew were overwhelmed by flames.
    A captain who was injured in the fire remains in critical
    condition in a San Diego hospital. The two others have been
    released and are returning to Novato.
    About 30 colleagues and family members outside the Novato fire
    station cheered when the seven firefighters pulled in under escort
    by the California Highway Patrol. The cheers were followed by many
    hugs and tears.
    Firefighters and residents from neighboring communities have
    been leaving flowers and sympathy cards at the Novato fire station
    as its members grieve for their fallen colleague.
    A firefighter described Rucker as a man who put his heart into
    everything he did.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  8. #28
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post October 30th Status update

    Major Southern California wildfires Thursday:
    TOTALS:
    Size: 728,816.
    Homes: 2,612 destroyed.
    Deaths: 20.
    Personnel: 12,772 on major fires.
    ---
    CEDAR FIRE: (San Diego County)
    Size: 272,318 acres.
    Homes: 1,483 homes destroyed, including 40 in Poway, 349 in the
    city of San Diego, and 1,027 in unincorporated county areas. 15
    homes damaged, 316 outbuildings destroyed and 10 damaged. Several
    historic landmarks in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park destroyed.
    Deaths: 14, including one firefighter. 25 injuries.
    Containment: 38 percent. Full containment expected Nov. 5.
    Start: Oct. 25 in eastern San Diego County.
    Key facts: Burned 33,000 acres inside San Diego city limits, and
    100 percent of those acres have been contained.
    Personnel: 3,662 firefighters.
    Cause: Authorities believe a hunter set signal fire when he got
    lost.
    Estimated cost: $5.6 million.
    ---
    PARADISE FIRE: (San Diego County)
    Size: 56,000 acres.
    Homes: 117 homes destroyed, 116 outbuildings destroyed. 8 homes
    damaged.
    Deaths: Two. 11 injuries.
    Containment: 25 percent. Full containment expected Nov. 1 and
    full control on Nov. 5.
    Start: Oct. 26 in Valley Center area near Interstate 15.
    Key facts: Mandatory evacuations remained in effect for Mount
    Palomar, a community of 10,000 residents.
    Personnel: 1,336 firefighters.
    Cause: Under investigation.
    Estimated cost: $2.3 million.
    ---
    GRAND PRIX FIRE: (San Bernardino County)
    Size: 91,207 acres.
    Homes: 50 homes destroyed, 60 damaged.
    Deaths: None. 27 injuries.
    Containment: 40 percent. Containment expected Oct. 31.
    Start: Oct. 21 near San Bernardino National Forest.
    Key facts: 3,000 homes and 100 commercial properties threatened.
    Mandatory evacuation remained in effect for Mount Baldy, Oak Hills,
    Silverwood Lake, Summit Valley and Devore Heights. Evacuation
    lifted for such foothill communities as Lytle Creek, Devore and
    Muscoy.
    Personnel: 1,808 firefighters.
    Cause: Arson.
    Estimated cost: $13 million.
    ---
    OLD FIRE: (San Bernardino County)
    Size: 49,880 acres.
    Homes: 850 homes destroyed, including about 300 in the Lake
    Arrowhead area, 10 commercial buildings destroyed. 35 homes
    damaged.
    Deaths: Four. 3 minor injuries to firefighters.
    Containment: 10 percent.
    Start: Oct. 25 near San Bernardino National Forest.
    Key facts: Threats to 50,000 homes, 2,000 businesses and 80,000
    outbuildings worth $10 billion in property value.
    Personnel: 2,452 firefighters.
    Cause: Arson.
    Estimated cost: $3.9 million
    ---
    PADUA FIRE: (Los Angeles County)
    Size: 10,466 acres.
    Homes: 59 homes destroyed in Claremont.
    Deaths: None.
    Containment: 90 percent. Full containment expected Oct. 31.
    Start: Flames entered L.A. County on Oct. 26 from Grand Prix
    fire.
    Key facts: Originally part of Grand Prix fire, but separated at
    county line. Mandatory evacuations of about 50 homes in the Mt.
    Baldy Village area remained in effect Thursday.
    Personnel: 455 firefighters.
    Cause: Arson related to Grand Prix fire.
    Estimated cost: $600,000.
    ---
    SIMI VALLEY: (Ventura and Los Angeles counties)
    Size: 106,950 acres.
    Homes: 28 destroyed. 145 outbuildings destroyed. Seven homes
    damaged.
    Deaths: None. 9 injuries.
    Containment: 40 percent. Full containment expected Nov. 4.
    Start: Flames entered Simi Valley on Oct. 25 from the Verdale
    fire.
    Key facts: Homes in Santa Clarita, Stevenson Ranch and Porter
    Ranch communities threatened Thursday morning.
    Personnel: 1,575 firefighters.
    Cause: Under investigation.
    Estimated cost: $4.8 million
    ---
    PIRU FIRE: (Ventura County)
    Size: 68,022 acres.
    Homes: Three homes, four outbuildings, and one commercial
    property destroyed.
    Deaths: None. 21 minor injuries to firefighters.
    Containment: 30 percent.
    Start: Oct. 23 west of Lake Piru in Ventura County.
    Key facts: The fire in Los Padres National Forest was burning
    heavy brush in Sespe Wilderness and the Sespe Condor sanctuary.
    There were no condors in the refuge. Also, the fire is threatening
    oil fields and gas lines.
    Personnel: 1,484 firefighters.
    Cause: Under investigation.
    Estimated cost: $6.5 million
    ---
    CONTAINED:
    MOUNTAIN FIRE: (Riverside County)
    Size: 9,742 acres.
    Homes: 21 destroyed, including three houses and 18 trailers and
    mobile units used as residences.
    Deaths: None.
    Burned: Oct. 26 to Oct. 29.
    ---
    OTAY (DULZURA) FIRE: (San Diego County)
    Size: 46,291 acres.
    Homes: 1 home, 5 outbuildings, and 11 structures damaged.
    Deaths: None.
    Burned: Oct. 26 to Oct. 28.
    ----
    CAMP PENDLETON: (San Diego County, also called Roblar No. 2)
    Size: 9,000 acres.
    Homes: None.
    Deaths: None.
    Burned: Oct. 21 to Oct. 27.
    ---
    VERDALE FIRE: (Los Angeles County)
    Size: 8,680 acres.
    Homes: None.
    Deaths: None.
    Burned: Oct. 24 to Oct. 27.
    ---
    WELLMAN FIRE: (Riverside County)
    Size: 100 acres.
    Homes: None.
    Deaths: None.
    Burned: Oct. 26 to Oct. 27.
    ---
    HAPPY FIRE: (Santa Barbara County)
    Size: 160 acres.
    Homes: None.
    Deaths: None.
    Burned: Oct. 24 to Oct. 27.
    ---
    Source: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
    and fire and law enforcement officials.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  9. #29
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Bump
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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